HP Omen 27u 144 Hz screen test: design and image quality
The Omen 27u presents a rather original design in the monitor market playing. The materials are noble, especially the screen casing and the foot, both in aluminum.
The back of the monitor offers a little more character and assumes its style playing. The foot includes a rather basic, but effective cable passage, and above all the design is more assertive. The gaming monitor needs, there is a bright border that surrounds the housing that groups the electronics. It is quite beautiful and above all very well finished. Note that this monitor is VESA 100 x 100 mm compatible, but requires a stand that can rotate 45°.
It also includes under-the-panel lighting that should reduce eye strain by producing extra light. Like the backlight, it can be configured via the OSD (color, intensity, beat, random change, etc.).
The stand also includes a rather practical helmet holder that avoids misplacing his favorite helmet.
The foot is not too big, and neither is the power supply that will take place under the desk. It is less discreet than an integrated power supply, but it facilitates replacement in case of failure.
The screen focuses on important settings, such as height adjustment of more than 13 cm and tilt between -5° and +20°. The manufacturer skips left and right rotation as well as portrait swivel, but that doesn’t really matter in a dedicated gaming monitor.
The connection consists of two HDMI inputs including one HDMI 2.1 compatible (4K 120 Hz, VRR), one DisplayPort 1.4 input, one headphone output, two USB 3.0 ports and one USB-C port (only used to copy USB ports) . It is angled at 45°, making it accessible without having to bend over behind the monitor. This is particularly useful for easier access to USB ports.
To navigate the OSD menus, the HP uses a joystick. For us, this is simply the most effective system for quickly setting up a monitor. HP also lets you use the four directions as customizable shortcuts to change sources, select image mode, adjust brightness, etc. A great idea! The OSD also allows you to adjust the blue light filter to four levels and change basic settings (brightness, contrast, temperature, overdrive, etc.).
On our 120 x 80 cm desk, the HP Omen 27u is particularly comfortable with its compact dimensions. The leg still has a depth of 25.6 cm, but its design frees up desk space. The latest versions of Windows and macOS operating systems perfectly handle the Ultra HD definition and allow effective upscaling to 150% or even 200% (equivalent to Full HD). The text elements are large enough to read and the image is perfectly sharp. On the other hand, the native definition of 3840 x 2160 px on a 27-inch panel, or 163 pixels per inch (ppi), is almost unusable without scaling. In games, the contribution of Ultra HD on a 27-inch panel is not necessarily obvious, and at the moment, the choice of a Quad HD monitor, especially in this diagonal, seems to us to be smarter , especially to reach 144 fps, except for gaming consoles.
Colors and contrast
Right out of the box, the HP Omen displays colors that can be considered accurate; as proof, we measured a delta E of just 1.7. The color temperature is very good, with a stable curve and an average of 6990 K which is very close to the reference value (6500 K). Only the gamma curve lacks a bit of stability, with very few overexposed dark grays. Logically, the average measured in 2.1 is slightly lower than the reference (2.2). Reducing the brightness to 150 cd/m² has no effect on the picture quality, which remains equivalent. Finally, the calibration of the monitor on the probe makes it possible to perfectly smooth the temperature curve and improve color fidelity. The colorimetric profile is available at this link.
Measured at 1040:1, the average contrast ratio is pretty average with a black drop of just 0.14 cd/m². In the picture, this translates to washed out blacks that appear gray in the dark. In sunlight, this contrast ratio does not present any particular problem. The Omen 27u monitor still remains a notch behind the best IPS monitors, such as the Asus VG27AQ with a contrast of 1220:1 or the AOC 27G2U and its 1250:1. Of course, the HP Omen 27u remains very far from the best VA monitors whose contrast ratio exceeds 4000:1, such as the Huawei MateView GT 34 or the MSI Optix MAG271CR.
The average difference in brightness homogeneity is measured at 5% across the 28-inch panel; a very good value that guarantees good homogeneity of the slab. The model we tested was not affected by any phenomenon of cloudy. The IPS panel is mandatory, the viewing angles are very wide and there is little variation in brightness when you observe the screen by offsetting it to 45°.
The Omen 27u does not use Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to adjust brightness; therefore it is flicker-free and does not cause headaches for people who are sensitive to this phenomenon.
This monitor manages FreeSync between 48 and 144 Hz and therefore works well when the graphics card sends between 48 and 144 fps. The range supported is therefore very broad and covers all uses. We would still recommend a high-performance graphics card, such as the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT or the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090, to take advantage of the native Ultra HD definition and high number of images. In all cases, fluidity is present and the image does not suffer from tearing problems (torn) or jerks (micro stuttering).
A response time of 7.5ms is good for an IPS panel. This value is obtained with the overdrive setting at “level 2”, with very little effect of reverse ghosting. In more aggressive settings (Levels 3 and 4), the reverse ghosting is too current. This monitor is not better than the Asus VG28UQ, and is also Ultra HD at 144 Hz, which drops to 6 ms. The Asus VG279QM with a Full HD 280 Hz panel only flashes at 4.5 ms, as well as the VA Samsung Odyssey G7 27 and 49G9 models. This Omen can still boast of doing better than the Asus VG27AQ, the benchmark for Quad HD IPS 144 Hz monitors.
We measured display delay (input lag) at 17.5ms. This is more than the 10 to 11 ms observed in other monitors for gaming, but the lag between the action made with the keyboard, mouse or controller and its observation on the screen remains very small.